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Full text of "Superintendents of the Yellowstone National Parks Monthly Report, January 1918"

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Copy from FILE 143. 



January, 1918. 





February 7th 

She Director, 

national Park Service, 
Washington, D. C. 


I have the honor to submit my report of conditions in the parte 
for the month of ^January, 1918. 


2he Yellowstone National Park was set aside by ct of Congress 
larch 1, 1872, (Sees. 2474 and 2475, 3. S., 17 St3t., 32) as a 
pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people, and 
placed under the exclusive control of the Secretary of the Interior, 
v.ho was authorized to make suoh rules and regulations as he deems 
necessary for the care and management of the ;>arte. It is situated 
principally in north.estem ,'yoming, but laps over a little more 
than two milos into 'Jontana on the north, and almost trro miles into 
Montana and Idaho on the ;rest Its dimensions are about 62 miles 
north and south, and about 54 miles east and v,"est, giving an area of 
about 5,348 square miles, or 2,142,720 acres. Its altitude is 6,000 
to 11,000 feet. 

The parte was governed by civilian superintendents, assisted by 
a few scouts, from the time It >/as set aside until August 10, 1886, 
when, under authority contained in the Sundry Civil Bill approved 
Barch 3, 1883, at the request of the Secretary of the Interior the 
Secretary of Var detailed troops of United States Cavalry to protect 
the parte, the commanding officer acting as park superintendent under 
the direct orders of the Secretary of the Interior. On October 16, 
1916, by mutual agreement of the heads of the t.o Departments, the 
troops were withdrawn from the park, and a civilian supervisor, with 
a corps of 25 rangers for patrol and protection work, and a few 
civilian employees necessary for other duties, were appointed by the 
Secretary of the Interior to reolace them. The Sundry Civil Bill, 
approved June 12, 1917, (.Tiblic Ho. 21, 65th Congress) contained a 
clans* which made it necessary for the troops to be returned to the 
park for the purpose of patrolling it, and they were returned on June 


26, 1917, relieving the parte supervisor of so much oi 
pertained to "protection. 

the duties as 

The maintenance and construction of roads, bridges and improve 
ments in Yellowstone Park, is carried on by speoial appropriation 
under the v/ar Department, the work being locally in charge of an 
officer of the U. S. Engineer Department known as the District 
Engineer Officer, who roports direotly to the Chief of Engineers. 
278,8 miles of main road and 24.75 miles of secondary road are 
located in the park, and 106.5 miles of main road is maintained 
by the same department in the forest reserves adjoining the park 
on the south and oast. Major George E, Verrill, Engineers, U. 3. 
Reserves, is at the present time in chargo Af improvement work in the 
park, as District Engineer. A copy of his report for the month of 
January will be transmitted as soon as received. 

The looal office of the D. S. Weather Bureau, Department of 
.Agriculture, is in charge of :».lr. G. is. Lawton, Observer. 

Park Eeadsniaopters for all departments and most of the con- 
cessioners, is located at Mammoth Hot Springs. A telephone system 
connects Headquarters with the sub-stations. A hydro-electric poner 
plant furnishes the lV»ht for the buildings and grounds at Headquarters 

ater, electric current, and telephone service are furnished other 
departments of the government in the park,, by the National Park 
Servloe, without charge. During January the hydro-electric power plant 
was run daily from 4:M P. H. until 8:00 . H., and was continued 
during the day when any necessity existed. 

Funds for purposes of administration of the park, and for the 
care and maintenance of buffalo and other animals, are obtained from 
special appropriations by Congress, and from revenues derived from 
various sources in the park. 

conditions for rog wsm o£ jaotaht . 

The monthly mean temperature was 16.2 degrees, which was 1,4 
degrees colder than normal for January. The lov/est temperature 
recorded during the month was -32.2 on the 31st. This is the lowest 
January temperature recorded since the establishment of the Weather 
Bureau Station in the park in 1903. The precipitation during the 
month was 1.98 inches, a little less than normal, werage depth of 
snow on the ground at the end of January was 12.7 inches, which .as 
about half an inch more than normal. The snow, however, was dis- 
tributed ovor the ground more evenly than usual, with few drifts, 


making travel between Headquarters and Gardiner good for 'both sleighs 
and motor vehicles. She Gardiner Slide remained frozen xcp and gave 
no farther trouble. The weather conditions were reasonably good 
for the game animals, and they were reported to be in excellent 

WT f MrSjS . 



A total of 22 permanent and 2 temporary employees were carried 
on the pay roll daring the^month of January,' namely: One, chief cleric, 
(acting superintendent L Wo clerics, one chief scout, nine scouts, 
one buffalo keeper, one assistant buffalo Iceeper, two telephone switch- 
board operators, on£ lineman, one^ electrician, tvro assistant eleotriolane 
(one the entire month and one from the first to noon on the eighth) 
one laborer, one temporary plumber, aea one temporary lineman, (the %.[ 
latter being employed on the 25th.) In addition to these there was 
one man employed with horses and dogs to exterminate carnivorous 

- regular employees: Chief Scout HcBride began 
preparations for feeding hay to the wild ■alaala at the beginning of 
the month, and the actual feeding began on January 5th. He was 
assisted from the beginning by Scouts Trischraan, Pound, and Lawson, 
and aince the 14th by Scout Smith, in addition. Two single teams 
and the 2-ton trade, equipped with hay racks, were used until, towards 
the end of the month, vfoen the snow got too deep to use the truck with 
economy, and a four-line mule team was substituted for it. Three 
teams andffive men are now constantly employed in the work of feeding 
the animals. About 3,000 elk and 350 antelope are fed daily near 
Gardiner and Mammoth. About 125 tons of hay had been used to the end 
of January. Scout little assisted the detachments of the new military 
garrison to prepare for their trips to Hiverside and Lake Stations, 
and went with them to the stations on January 5th to 11th. Since that 
time he has patrolled along the north line, mostly west from Gardiner. 
He was accompanied on his patrols along the north line on skis, by 
Scout Brooks, t*o also .patrolled to Lower Blacktail, Crevice Mountain 
and vicinity. Scout Anderson made steady patrols between Yellowstone 
Elver and the north line of the park, and when practicable has made 
some patrols outside of the park near the north line. He killed 7 
coyotes and 4 mountain lions during the month. Soout Lacombe was 
stationed the entire month at Tower Falls, and patrolled that vicinity. 
Scout Charles J. Smith was stations* with him up to the 14th, when he 
was called In to assist In feeding wild animals. Soout Dewing re- 
mained at Gallatin Station until the arrival of the detaotaent of 
soldiers from the 11th Cavalry, on Januard 3d, when he returned to 
Gardiner and is charged with making patrols on the north line near 


- / 


Oardiner and the extermination of earaivora. He killed ten coyotes 
during the month. Steve Elkins was employed ty the day with saddle 
horses and trained dogs, to exterminate carnivorous animals. He 
killed 5 mountain lions and 5 coyotes. His services ..-ore dispensed 
with at the end of January, as he did not seem to he malting satis- 
factory progress. The buffalo keeper and his assistant were on duty 
with the tame buffalo at the farm on Lamar River. Other employees 
were on duty at Headquarters, operating and maintaining telephone 
lines, hydro-eleotric power plant, buildings, etc., and caring for the 
horses belonging to the Department which were brought in from pasture 
at the buffalo farm on January 14th, and are being fed alfalfa hay. 

Ijoayes o£ absence : Employees wore on regular annual leave of 
absence during the month of January as follows: 

Cleric L. ■■ Hae Rae, 1st to 1st. 

Clerk George 2. Dustman, 1st to 31st; 26 days. 

Buffalo Keeper Thomas (J. Brazier, 1st to noon of the 2d; -&■ day. 

assistant Electrician Robert Oster, 1st to noon of the 8th; 
•§■ days. 

Resignations: Assistant Electrician Robert Oster tendered his 
resignation at noon, January 8th. 

Vacancies: At the close of January 31st there were the following 
vacancies: 1 assistant electrician at $1200 per annum; {vacancy since 
noon, January 8th) 1 lineman at v900 per annum; and one plumber at 
§1200 per annum. 

MUmS., DOZES sic. 

Such driving, saddle and pack animals as were needed for regular 
work and feeding the game, were kept up and fed hay and grain. Sur- 
plus horses were kept on pasture at the buffalo farm until the 14th, 
when they were brought in on account of the severe weather, and have 
since been kept in corrals at Headquarters and fed alfalfa hay pur- 
chased for the purpose. 


Ho forest fires occurred during the month. 

Shore was no fishing during the month, except a very little in 
the Oardiner River below the mouth of the Boiling River, and in the 
Yellowstone River, near the mouth of the Gardiner River, for whitefish. 


The weather conditions were not suitable for improvement work of 
any extent, except a little that was done at Headquarters by regular 
employees In the way of repairing telephone instruments, and over- 
hauling machinery at the power plant. 

The Yellowstone Park Transportation Company continued the employ- 
ment of a small number of men at the Macmoth garage, overhauling auto- 
mobiles and making general repairs* 

The Hotel Company built a small ice house near the ones in use 
by the different branches of the government Just below the reservoir, 
and filled it with ice. 

The Yellowstone ?ark Camping Oompany put up a supply of ice at 

The Park Curio Shop also put up ice for next summer's tise. 

The U. S. Engineer Department continued to mine coal in the park 
for that Department and the national Park Service. Engineers were also 
engaged is making a survey of a location for a new road to take the 
place of the one in Gardiner Canyon to avoid the expensive "slide". 
The slide was frozen up during the month, and gave no trouble. Major 
Verrill , s monthly report for January will be transmitted as soon as 
received. Cony of his special report to the Chief of Engineers, dated 
JanAary 1, 1918, on the subject of the Gardiner road realignment was 
transmitted on January 25, and a copy was also made for air, Geo. E. 
Goodwin, C. E., National Park Service, who visited the park January 
12th to 14th on his way to T/ashington, to exsminSdthe slide referred to, 


During January, no monies were transmitted to the Secretary of 
the Interior or the Rational ark Service from this office. 



Ho changes la the natural phenomena of the park were recorded 
for the month of January. 


Ho tourists were registered at the park entrances during the 
month of January. 

§peqlal Visitors ; Mr. George E. Good.vln, Civil Sagineer of the 
National tatt Service, visited Mammoth Hot Springs January 12th to 
14th, while enroute from Glacier national Park to V/ashington, for the 
special purpose of inspecting the road three miles north of Mammoth 
known as the "Gardiner Slide'. 

Rev. J. F. i'ritchard, of Emigrant, Montana, visited the post of 
Fort Tellowstone and held divine services in the post chapel tv-ice 
during the month, namely January 13th and 2?th. 

Br. Leroy C. Jones, State Game ,/arden of Idaho, with his deputy, 
Hr. !2horpe, visited the park on January 31st for .the purpose of pro- 
curing 50 elk allotted January 4th, to the State of Idaho. ?hey 
procured their elk and left with them on Pehruary 2d. 

•-lip AHimis. 

All game are reported in splendid condition. Hay has teen fed 
in the vicinity of Gardiner and along the road from Gardiner to Head- 
quarters, since January 5th, almost every day. Five men and three 
hay -racks have heen kept constantly busy with this work. About 3,000 
elk, 350 antelope, 17 mountain sheep, and 50 to 100 deer, come daily 
for this hay. Approximately 125 tons were fed to the end of January. 
Vhlle it is not considered an absolute necessity to feed the elk under 
present conditions, I consider it very advisable to feed them for 
several reasons: (1) 2he deer, antelope and mountain sheep have been 
fed hay for so many years that it is necessary to continue feeding 
them. Experience shows that it is almost an impossibility to feed 
these animals without feeding quite a large number of elk. Corrals 
have been constructed for the express purpose of feeding antelope and 
keeping out the elk, but we find that if an opening is left large 
enough to admit the antelope, the elk will get their heads through, 
and soon make an opening large enough to get through. A cow elk will 



lio down on the ground and work her head, and eventuality her whole 
body, through a fence if the wire is raised high enough to admit an 
antelope. (2) last winter many elk left the park and .rent down the 
valley of the 7ellow3tone River, through necessity of finding forage. 
They are inclined to repeat this performance this winter, regardless 
of the necessity, and to hold thorn hack inside the park, a certain 
amount of feeding is necessary. Even with the feeding, a large number 
have gone out - estimated at about 2,000 to the present time. So far 
they are not suffering from ravages of tooth hunters, and steps are 
being taken by the Forestry Bureau to have three of their rangers. 
who have little else to do in winter, and who are deputized as Btate 
game wardens, look after the interests of these elk. Scout inderson 
will assist them so far as practicable, along the park line opposite 
Gardiner and for several miles both east and west from Gardiner, and 
if this does not seem to meet the situation, I will ask for authority 
to hire additional scouts for this special work. (3) The feeding of 
the elk in the vicinity of the northern entrance is the first step 
in the direction of their special care and protection, and it creates 
an excellent impression of the intentions of the national Park Service 
in carrying on this great work which will eventually bring thousands 
of winter tourists to the park. Those who have been fortunate enough 
to see these anlmls on the feeding grounds along the main road, will 
usually agree as to the desirability of feeding them, and doing the 
feeding so far as practicable, near the northern entrance where the 
publio may easily view them. 

She work of raising the hay and feeding the animals can be handled 
much more conveniently and cheaply here, due to the lower altitude and 
general location near winter headquarters. 

Game animals were reported during the month as follows: 

31k. Antelope. Deer. 
Vioinity of Gallatin Station and on 

the winter range outside of the park 

northwest from the station, estimated 

only, 1,000 

Ticinity of Gardiner - within four 

miles of same, inside of the park,. 4,000 300 100 
Vicinity of Mammoth Hot Springs,.... 500 75 

Country adjacent to Sower Falls and 

the Buffalo Farm, 5,000 

Seen by patrols from Soda Butte 

Station, 1,200 


( numbers 




Elk. Antelope. Deer. Sheep. 
Horth of the Yellowstone River 'be- 
tween mouth of Bear Creek and the 

▼alley of Slough Creek, 7,000 137 34 

Outside of the park, down Yellow- 
stone Valley, loft during 
January, 2.000 

Totals, 20,700 350 328 51 

ITo attempt has been made to make a complete census of the animals, 
and several Important ranges are not included in the above estimates. 
About 20 dead elk were reported in all, killed by wolves or mountain 
lions. Two antelope were killed by coyotes near Sardiner. Ho sign of 
disease was noted among the elk. A large percentage of calves was 
noted among the elk. Very slight signs of scab are noted among the 
little band of mountain sheep ranging in Gardiner Canyon, and arrange- 
ments are made for dipping them when the proper time comes. 

Buffalo ; She tame buffalo are in good condition. One 7-year-old 
bull that had been lame for several months, was killed on January 29th, 
under your authority dated January 18th, and the robe and skeleton 
has been prepared for shipment as a specimen to the Hastings College, 
Hastings, Nebraska. She leg was found to have been injured so that it 
would never have been sound again. 

Sfiy. o.tes r Thirty-four coyotes were killed during the month of 

,l,Plye.s: Timber wolves were reported in several different sections 
of the park, but none were killed during the month. 

Moufltato Lions t Mr. Steve Slkins was employed throughout the 
month with his pack of trained dogs to exterminate mountain lions, but 
succeeded in killing but three. A buffalo bull gored one of his saddle 
horses while he was at the buffalo farm, January 21st, killing it 
instantly. Scout ,'jiderson killed four lions during the month, and as 
he has a pair of dogs that work fairly well on lions, I believe he can 
handle the lion situation hereafter, and Elkins was dropped from the 
pay rolls at the end of January. 


22 Ml SAKE ££ SAMgi . 

Ho oases of poaching were reported during the month of January. 

She officers and enlisted men of the new troop ("G", 11th Cavalry) 
who relieved the 1st Squadron, 7th Cavalry, on December 22, are very 
agreeable and disposed to do what they can to co-operate in the care 
of the park, hut they are totally inexperienced and it will take 
several months for them to learn their duties so as to he of much value 
and it is out of the question for them to learn the territory except 
in the Imaedlate vicinity of the stations, during the severe weather of 
winter. In many ways the War Department has seemed fairly indifferent 
as to the welfare of the small command stationed here, for instance, 
since the departure of the 7th Cavalry, they have had no transportation 
whatever in the post, except what they hire or borrow, and they are 
forced to use excellent cavalry saddle horses for hauling garbage and 
ether necessary work around the post. 


No violations of law in the park were reported, and no arrests 
were made, during January, 

Since January 18th reports have been earning in of the elk leaving 
the park and going down the Valley of the Yellowstone, to the ranges 
frequented by them last winter, and from fragmentary reports received 
I am of the opinion that possibly 2,000 are now outside of the park. 
Ihe State is, as usual, doing but little if anything to protect these 
elk, and doubtless a few will be killed for meat - in fact, a few 
probable cases have already been reported, but most of the noted tooth 
hunters are busy with legitimate work or have left the country, and I 
am inclined to believe that the efforts of such men as can be spared 
by the Forest Service and this office may prevent any large slaughter. 
Some of the ranchers, however, are complaining bitterly of the damage 
the elk do to their range and haystacks, and say they will be forced 
to raise sheep instead of cattje, so they can get the benefit of their 
own range In summer before the elk get it, if the State does not do 
something for their better protection. 

Completion of the pictorial and locational index of structures 
v and improvements in the park, as suggested in your letter of June 15, 


1917. Considerable progress was made on this work during January, and 
it is hoped it can be oompletod in February. 

Oare and feeding of wild animals, and destruction of carnivorous 

Repair and maintenance of telephone lines, water system, and 
hydro-electric power plant. 

Filing and transferrer^ correspondence and other records of the 
office, work that has fallen behind during the suraaer season. 

Putting up a supply of ice for next sunEier's use - ~ork by 
regular employees. 

Very respectrully, 

k JAMbmST 

Acting Superintendent. 


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